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Donna Fletcher Crow, Novelist of British History, has written more than 50 books specializing in British Christianity. These books include: The Monastery Murders, clerical mysteries; Lord Danvers Investigates, Victorian true-crime; The Elizabeth and Richard series, literary suspense; and Glastonbury, The Novel of Christian England. She loves research and sharing you-are-there experiences with her readers.

www.donnafletchercrow.com

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Donna Fletcher Crow, Novelist of British History

 

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Donna Fletcher Crow, Novelist of British History

A traveling researcher engages people and places from Britain's past and present, drawing comparisons and contrasts between past and present for today's reader.

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Saints and Martyrs of England who Changed my Life

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ November 8, 2021

Stories of faith and valor, of steadfastness in the face of persecution, of the peace and beauty of holiness have always moved and inspired me. Today, November 8, is a special day in my own spiritual journey because it is set aside in the in the Anglican Church Calendar to commemorate the Saints and Martyrs of England. England is known to have had a church with order and worship as early as the year 314. Since that time Christians from Britain have shared the message of the Good News at home and around the world. Throughout those years individual men and women have shone as beacons of the faith, heroically bearing witness to their Lord—some through a simple life of holiness, some by giving their lives for the sake of Christ.

In celebration of this day, I have been looking back at the stories of the amazing men and women of faith that have impacted me as I have been privileged to tell them in my books through the years. What a joy it has been to walk in the footsteps of these amazing people as I researched and wrote, and to share the experience with my readers.

I couldn’t have begun at a better place than with the story of St. George in my Arthurian epic Glastonbury, The Story of Christian England. I then continue with Saint Patrick, St. Bede, St. Alfred, and St. Dunstan as well as many others who stood strong for the faith through the Reformation.

Next, I moved to Scotland for my epic The Fields of Bannockburn, A Novel of Christian Scotland from its origins to independence. This single volume is newly available in individual epochs comprising Part I of The Celtic Cross Series.

Epoch 1, The Keeper of the Stone, Of Saints and Chieftains, recounts the struggles and triumphs of Scotland’s founding saints: St. Ninian at Whithorn, St. Kentigern (Mungo) in Glasgow, and especially St. Columba on Iona.

Epoch 3, The Refiner of the Realm, Of Queens and Clerics, is the inspiring story of St. Margaret whose beauty, civility, and fidelity to Truth, reformed her adopted nation.

Unsurprisingly, my Monastery Murders series abounds with stories of saints and martyrs, in whose footsteps my contemporary hero and heroine follow in order to solve modern crimes. Indeed, the series was inspired by St. Cuthbert—whose story I wanted to tell, but realized that an account of a man whose greatest claim to fame was his simple holiness might not result in much of a page-turner.

Over the years Felicity and Antony have delved into the life and works of more than 26 British saints, mystics, and holy men and women including:

Those who planted Christianity in the north of England—Saints Oswald, Aidan, Cuthbert and Bede in A Very Private Grave;

The holy women Richeldis de Faverches, who established the shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham; and the mystics Julian of Norwich, and Margery Kemp in A Darkly Hidden Truth.

An Unholy Communion focuses on Welsh saints: the Roman martyrs Julius and Aaron, and St. Non and her son St. David on whose work the church in Wales was built.

A Newly Crimsoned Reliquary begins with Oxford’s St. Frideswide, then recounts the lives of Reformation martyrs and saints from both sides of the divide—St. John Fisher, St. Thomas More, St. Margaret Clitherow, Thomas Cranmer, Hugh Latimer, and Nicholas Ridley, as well as the Holy Club leaders John and Charles Wesley.

English Mystics Richard Rolle, Walter Hilton and the author of The Cloud of Unkowing feature in my Christmas novel An All-Consuming Fire.

The Monastery Murders moves to Canada in Against All Fierce Hostility to tell the stories of the British saints honored by Toronto’s founders: Saints Andrew, George and Patrick; as well as recounting the inspiring steadfastness of the Wigtown Martyrs— “The Two Margarets.”

Visiting the homes, churches and execution sites of these stalwart Christians; reading their works and biographies; and then retelling them all in various formats has been a journey of faith for me and a means of profound formation. I am grateful beyond words for the impact these giants of the faith have had on the world through the centuries, and for the opportunities I have had to get to know them “up close and personal.” I pray that my readers might have a similar experience.

“God, whom the glorious company of the redeemed adore, assembled from all times and places of your dominion: we praise you for the saints of Great Britain and for the many lamps their holiness has lit; and we pray that we also may be numbered at last with those who have done your will and declared your righteousness; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.”

Donna Fletcher Crow, Novelist of British History, has written more than 50 books specializing in British Christianity. These books include: The Monastery Murders, clerical mysteries; Lord Danvers Investigates, Victorian true-crime; The Elizabeth and Richard series, literary suspense; and Glastonbury, The Novel of Christian England. She loves research and sharing you-are-there experiences with her readers.

www.donnafletchercrow.com

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Reader Comments:

You've brought the worlds of so many saints and martyrs to life for me as I've read your books, and brought out their relevance to the present day as well.
-SheilaDeeth, November 8, 2021

How lovely, Sheila! "Bringing them to life" is exactly what I strive for! Thank you!
-Donna, November 8, 2021

I have always enjoyed your books. The seamless interweaving of our great English Christian heritage along with fascinating Christian fiction, makes an unbeatable combination. All of it is excellent, but my favorite will always be the Monastery Murders series. I hope it continues to expand.
-JoeMatlock, November 9, 2021

Thank you so much, Joe! I'm so glad you enjoy the Monastery Murders. I'll have to admit that they have a special place in my heart--even if one doesn't really have a favorite child ;)
-Donna, November 10, 2021

Donna, good list. I've read Keeper of the Stone and all the Monastery Murders. You did mention one of my favorites in "A Newly Crimsoned Reliquery" but forgot him in your list - George Whitfield.

Also, in the plot descriptions for your "Where There Is Love" series, two more of my favorites are mentioned - Charles Wesley, who you also mentioned in "A Newly Crimsoned Reliquery" and Charles Simeon. (I might eventually get to that series.
-JCReynolds, December 2, 2021

Great additions, Jeff! Thank you.
-Donna, December 3, 2021

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